Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Michigan Wolverines [Print without images]

Monday, April 29, 2013
Roundtable: Which spot commits next?

By Chantel Jennings, Michael Rothstein & Jared Shanker

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Every other Monday, WolverineNation invites a writer into the forum to discuss a few topics pertinent in Michigan football recruiting. Today, Midwest recruiting coordinator Jared Shanker joins the discussion to talk possible commitments, difficulties in recruiting and final rankings.

1) Michigan picked up two commitments last week, one at wide receiver and one at tight end. In what position group at Michigan do you think we see the next commitment?

Chantel Jennings: I think we’ll see an offensive line commitment sooner rather than later, considering the numbers issue with Michigan only needing probably three O-linemen. With Mason Cole (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) committed already, I think commitment Nos. 2 and 3 will happen in close succession, and that second spot could be gone earlier as the camp scene heats up.

Michael Rothstein: Many ways this could go, although the defensive backfield is where I would look. The reasoning is that Michigan is in on some high-level guys with limited spots in the class, so that dictates something could move soon.

Jared Shanker: I think linebacker is a good bet, with the commit possibly being Kyron Watson (East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis) or maybe Chase Winovich (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson). It looks like Winovich is getting closer to a decision, and it could come down to the Wolverines and Buckeyes. Watson was not shy about naming Michigan one of his top schools immediately after it offered.

2) If you were a recruiter, what do you think would be the hardest thing to "sell" about Michigan?

Jennings: They're not the youngest staff out there. I think Brady Hoke, Al Borges and Greg Mattison get a lot of respect from recruits and their families and there's definitely a father-figure thing going on, but the staff as a whole is older. The Roy Manning hire made a lot of sense because of his age, and we've seen him out on the recruiting trail a lot, which I think is good for Michigan, because he is so young and relates well to prospects.

Roy Manning
Bringing Roy Manning back to Ann Arbor should help the Michigan staff relate better to younger prospects.
Rothstein: Winning a national or Big Ten championship. Having that as a message and a goal and in Brady Hoke's mind the barometer for success is great, but the Wolverines have not done either in a long time. The last national championship was 1997, when most of these recruits were toddlers or younger. Michigan has two Big Ten titles since 2000 and none since 2003, so the Wolverines can't even point to that. Tough to sell it until you do it.

Shanker: A coaching staff with good recruiters will always find the best way to go about it, but Michigan does not have much flash to it, like some other programs, but that is by design. It's a school rooted in its tradition and does its best to showcase that.

3) The Wolverines recently moved up to fifth in the class rankings. In what range do you see this class finishing?

Jennings: I'm not sure if they'll crack the top five, just because with bringing in only 16 commitments (or somewhere in that range), there's a hypothetical ceiling on how highly ranked this class really can be. Yes, we can say that half the class could be X-stars or what have you, but that's still only eight guys, and other teams that take 24 or more commits could simply have the numbers behind them to have a more talented group.

Rothstein: This is tricky mostly due to the likely smaller class Michigan will recruit. I would say the high end would be No. 2 -- it might have a ton of talent, but one of the other likely suspects will have the same amount of talent but more of it, due to numbers. The low end is probably around No. 10, if the Wolverines miss on some of their bigger targets and still take that small class.

Shanker: I think between Nos. 5 and 10 is probably a safe bet. I would expect them to remain in that range. They might not have the numbers to make it into the top five, but the quality will be very strong, enough to always keep them inside the top 10.